Сhicago Cocktail

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A little classic this time – Chicago Cocktail. Impressed with French 75 and Ritz Cocktail, I was in mood for emptying another bottle of prosecco. The matter depended only on recipe, and I’ve founded it in The Savoy Cocktail Book.

Who invented the cocktail and why he called it Chicago as the cocktail consists of brandy, curaçao, bitters and sparkling wine. Harry Craddock did not mention so who knows…

Anyway, Chicago Cocktail won my sympathy from the very first time when I’ve tried it. True classic, it was simple and delicious – what else do you want to get from a cocktail?

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Old Fashioned. The story continues

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For me, Old Fashioned cocktail is a pure inspiration. I love it made in traditional way with bourbon and also I love to tweak a bit the cocktail’s classic recipe.

My first post is dedicated to normal Old Fashioned. Current one is about all Old Fashioned variations I love so much.

In my work I applied two basic methods: a) to change a spirit and b) to replace (partially) syrup with a liqueur. Additionally I was trying to combine various bitters and extracts.

Another method  is to mix two or more brown spirits. In my opinion that’s a tricky way and today I feel I’m not ready to go in for these experiments. Now I just adopt another bloggers’ practices, and my latest effort was theSpeakista’s cocktail called Final Five. That’s not Old Fashioned but I dare suppose it a cocktail in Old Fashioned style. In any case, I’ve made two cocktail in similar manner and wrote about it below.

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S.I.P.#4: Old Fashioned

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Old Fashioned cocktail is the topic for the fourth round of our online imbibers party called S.I.P.

For me, this drink is an essence of cocktail culture. An icon. Or a symbol.

I prefer gin-based cocktails but when I have no idea what to drink tonight usually my choice is not Dry Martini but Old Fashioned. I love his strong character and his dry and sweet flavour. I love to make Old Fashioned, this simple procedure calms emotions and creates special atmosphere.

Old Fashioned is an immortal classics and an inspiration for creative boozing.

And that’s enough. Stop talking, take a bottle of whiskey and bring yourself down to make the cocktail.

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Cidre Normandie

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After my thrilling experience with prosecco cocktails (here the first), I’ve turned to another fruit-based sparkling low-alcohol drink. Cider isn’t as popular as sparkling wine at least as a cocktail component.

There were some recipes but I had my doubts about mulled cider or shaken cocktails with cider included. So my cocktail was Champagne-based drink with calvados. Usually I substituted prosecco for Champagne therefore I didn’t hesitate to mix calvados with cider instead of  prosecco.

So Champagne Normandie has turned to Cidre Normandie.

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Dark and Stormy

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When I’ve made my first batch of ginger beer, I realized that I hardly ever drink it neat. It was too dry and burning for me. But there was an advantage – I could give a try to cocktails based on ginger beer, at last!

At first I’ve tried Dark and Stormy cocktail, a powerful combination of dark rum and spicy ginger beer.

Bermuda’s national drink, Dark and Stormy is deeply rooted in the traditional daily portions of rum served out in British Navy. The cocktail calls for Bermudian Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and local ginger beer. Very strict conditions, isn’t it?

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S.I.P.#3: Manhattan

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Our third S.I.P. event is dedicated to another cocktail icon called Manhattan as well as its numerous variations made with other whiskey (whisky) and vermouths (or aperitifs and maybe amari).

For me, Manhattan is a counterpoise for Dry Martini. Warm, sweet and spicy side of cocktails against dry and bitter world of clear and cold gin flavoured with drops of vermouth. Brown spirits versus crystal clear alcohol, Alpha and Omega of cocktail world.

I’m not interested in stories about Manhattan. I just enjoy it when I get tired of other cocktails – classic of modern, it doesn’t matter. Manhattan is the special mood, the atmosphere of calm and confidence.

The never-ending experiment with whiskey and vermouth pairing. The search for the best additions – bitters or liqueurs. Much attention to details, technique improvement. Careful sipping, enjoying aroma, appearance and taste. It’s a more than cocktail, almost a lifestyle.

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The Remaining Balance

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Here is the document I started almost a year ago. That became something like a ritual. When buying new single malt whisky, I eventually ended up using the whisky in this magnificent cocktail.

Now I told myself to stop and to write this post. I’m continuing with buying and drinking Scotch whisky but  I need to comprehend all my emotions and experience. And for me, the best way to do it is to write about it.

All that started when I was browsing Imbibe website. I’ve took many ideas from there, and The Remaining Balance cocktail recipe by Jason Littrell was one of them.

Imagine a mixture of Grand Marnier, two single malt whiskies, amaro and two bitters. Sophisticated bizarre mix? Not for me! My love to Scotch whisky and experimenter ‘s itch gave me no chances to leave the cocktail unnoticed.

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The Smoking Gun

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Here is one more cocktail with single malt scotch whisky. That looks unusual but personally I love this trend.

The Smoking Gun was created by bartender Mark Allen, Red Feather Lounge, Boise, Idaho.

In this recipe Fernet combines with peaty scotch – unusual and a bit audacious decision at first sight. Both spirits ain’t components in general use. Quite the reverse, they look like very unfriendly when mixing with other spirits. But here is the case when first sight is absolutely wrong.

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The Transfiguration Day

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That was inspired by Cheri Loughlin’s article about Drambuie. Some cocktails mentioned there imprinted themselves in my mind. One of them, The Forty-Five, was earlier on my blog, adapted and tried with various whiskies.

Created by Jamie Stephenson, Drambuie global ambassador, Renaissance is another cocktail with Drambuie I like very much. And for me, it was another target to adaptation and changing.

My experiments with Renaissance were very productive so eventually  the recipe has been heavily changed, and I decided to rename it to The Transfiguration Day because…

Because the taste of the new drink reminded me of  our patrimonial tradition to celebrate together old Russian Orthodox  feast called Yablochny Spas, or The Transfiguration Day.

Maybe it was too conceitedly but my remembrances were too lively. I could’n resist that temptation.

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The Forty-Five

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There are a lot of alcohol combinations which now became classic. These combinations are so good that you’re always reverting to it and think that you do need any others.

Whiskey (and whisky too) with sweet vermouth create such combination, a wonderful duet, an exceptional base for further experiments. Well-known Manhattan (with bourbon or rye) or Rob Roy and Bobby Burns Cocktail (with scotch), it all are just three great cocktails among dozens of other good ones in which whiskey mixes with sweet vermouth.

The Forty-Five recipe has been found at Drambuie American promo-website. Another place where the cocktail was mentioned is The Intoxicologist blog. The article about cocktails based on Drambuie liqueur is awesome as well as most of other posts there.

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